< Back

Swedish Foreign Minister on Gripen fighter jets for Ukraine

Jul 10, 2024

Sweden did not supply Ukraine with Gripen fighter jets because Kyiv concluded that having two fighter jet systems - both F-16 and Gripen - was too much.


This was stated by Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström in an interview with the Voice of America, RBC-Ukraine reports.

When asked why Sweden has suspended the delivery of Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, Billström replied: "We have to understand that Ukraine was given the opportunity to get F-16s, which, of course, are more numerous in the NATO family. After all, more countries have F-16s than Gripen fighters. This has nothing to do with the decision of the Swedish government. This decision was made because Ukraine concluded that it was too much to have two fighter systems at the same time - both F-16s and Gripens."

He explained that we are talking about systems, not just aircraft.

"We are talking about systems. It's not just about getting aircraft and training pilots. These are complex systems, and it would be too difficult to implement two of them at the same time," said the Swedish Foreign Minister.

However, "this does not mean that Sweden is not open to continuing with Gripens if and when the F-16 programme is completed," he said, stressing that "this is a matter for Ukraine, not the Swedish government."

According to Billström, Sweden has provided Ukraine with ASC 890 surveillance systems that can be used in coordination with the F-16.

"This will give Ukraine the opportunity to better conduct air battles, observe and control air battles," he said.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 11/07/2024

Recent news